BOSTON — The Boston Celtics were able to hold on and beat the Milwaukee Bucks in overtime by a final score of 113-107. Giannis Antetokounmpo lead the game with 35 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. Kris Middleton added 31 points on five of seven shooting from downtown. For the Celtics, it was Al Horford leading the charge, scoring 24 points while grabbing 12 boards. Brad Stevens talked about Horford’s effort on both offense and defense.
“We wanted to go – we wanted to post him, said Stevens.” “We wanted to make him play in the post, and make Giannis defend down there, and I thought Al did a good job. He earned all fourteen free-throw attempts, I know that, because he was – he was really, really working to get to the line and really working to get position early. And, you know, I thought Al battled. I thought everybody on both sides looked a little gassed at the end of overtime; I’m not sure anybody was more tired than Al, because he put in an incredible effort for us.”
Terry Rozier hit one of the biggest shots of his career, giving the Celtics a 99-96 lead with a three with 0.5 seconds remaining. Rozier knew how important that play would end up being.
“The last play in regulation; JT (Jayson Tatum) was coming off a stagger and that’s why I gave him the look and I kind of figured Bledsoe (Eric Bledsoe) would bite and it allowed me to make a move and get to my step back three, said Rozier.” “That was the option for me to shoot, there was the option for JT (Jayson Tatum) to come off or there was an option for Morris (Marcus) to slip to the basket, all three options and I went with mine. The foul on Giannis, there were a lot of tough calls tonight and I think they owed us that one.”
Boston made it tough defensively on “The Greek Freak,” despite the lengthy forward having 35 points. Antetokonmpo talked about some of the Bucks missed opportunities.
“Turnovers and rebounding. We got to take care of the ball in Game two and hopefully we can because when we have the ball we are real dangerous. We can run and do a lot of things so hopefully in Game two we can run the ball too.”
The Celtics improve to 51-16 all-time in game ones of a best-of-seven series played at home and also improves its overtime postseason record, advancing to 23-20. Game two at TD Garden is set for 8 pm on Tuesday night.
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The report was prepared by Jacob Tobey for CLNS Media and CelticsBlog.